Statement by President of Dublin City University, Prof Brian MacCraith
DCU calls on policy makers to introduce regulations to deal with the escalating and uncontrolled pricing of the student housing sector. Policy makers and private providers must work with Irish Universities to create a longer term more sustainable solution to providing affordable accommodation for all students.
In some cases, students are being exploited by constraints in the rental market in Dublin and elsewhere around the country.Recent increases of up to 27% on student accommodation by private providers are simply unacceptable.
The primary driver of the escalating costs for student accommodation is that demand is now far outstripping supply. If regulation and supply are not addressed student accommodation costs will invariably continue to increase.
The burdens being placed on students and their families by such increases is unacceptable and will inevitably create a family-income-based barrier for entry into Higher and Further Education.
This is completely contrary to current government policies in this regard. The escalating construction costs for student accommodation is a matter of real concern.
For example, the costs of construction for the University of a five bedroom student apartment is now in excess of €550,000, excluding land purchase costs.
The issue has the potential to limit the scale of future University investments and will inevitably result in increased rental costs for Irish and international students.
As a University that promotes access to education for all, we are acutely aware of the financial pressures that are placed on students and their families.
Consequently, we work very hard every year to ensure that the accommodation we provide across our three campuses is as inexpensive as we can possibly make it.
The demand for on-campus accommodation is similar to last year with four applications for every bed-space available.
There has been significant investment across all DCU on-Campus accommodation blocks on refurbishment projects. In addition to this, there has been an investment exceeding €2.5 million into the residences on the DCU St Patrick's campus.
DCU is also in the early stages of planning for the construction of an additional 850 bed-spaces across the DCU Glasnevin and All Hallows campuses.
DCU is continuing to explore the viability of constructing additional, off-campus properties at affordable costs for students.
However, further measures are required by policy makers if the ever-increasing demand for student accommodation in the Dublin region over the next decade is going to be met on a basis that is genuinely affordable for students and their families.
Background on DCU on Campus accomodation.
Campus Residences DCU are also the least expensive providers of on campus accommodation in the Dublin area.
We strongly believe that the cost of accommodation on campus is very favourable, and of a superior standard, when compared to private rental accommodation and the many additional services provided such as security and maintenance are a significant advantage for students allowing them to feel safe and secure during their time with us. The demand for accommodation is similar to last year with four applications for every bed-space available.
There has been significant investment across all accommodation blocks as there is every year on refurbishment projects. In addition to this, there has been an investment exceeding €2.5 million into the residences on the DCU St Patrick's campus.
DCU is also in the early stages of planning for the construction of an additional 850 bed space across the DCU Glasnevin and All Hallows campuses. Dublin City University currently has a total student bed capacity of 1,400 across all three campuses (DCU Glasnevin, DCU St. Patrick’s and DCU All Hallow Campus).
DCU is also in the early stages of planning for the construction of an additional 850 bed space across the Glasnevin and All Hallows campuses.
The €230m DCU Campus Development Plan announced in 2016 (EIB/ISIF funded) facilitated the Section 50 buy-back of existing postgraduate campus residences, the purchase of All Hallows Campus, up-grade to existing residences and the construction of additional capacity which will ultimately deliver a total capacity of 2,200 student bed units across the university, to help address the urgent and growing issue of student accommodation across the great Dublin region.
However, additional further investment in student accommodation is urgently required to address future regional demographic growth and accommodate growing international students if the key third level objectives of the Government's International Education Strategy are to be realised.